2019 was amazing – truly, amazing. Tens of weddings, hundreds of coffees, thousands of images.
I’ve put together a slideshow of my favourite shots from the year which you’ll find on my homepage (www.bgsweddings.co.uk). I wanted to post some images, but also to give a little of back story to the image; how it happened, why I took it, what I was thinking etc. As you know, natural wedding photos are what I specialise in.
First up, Naomi had a lot (a lot) of bridesmaids. It’s always a nice moment when the finishing touches are being done just before the ceremony. What’s even better is when everyone remembers that the labels are still on the bottom of the bride’s shoes, so they take them off – elegantly. I was lucky to capture this genuine moment of fun.
Amy and Rory had a beautiful day at Barnsdale Hall Hotel, which, if you don’t know, overlooks Rutland Water. Late in the afternoon we went and had a little stroll to get some lovely natural shots of the two of them. As we were walking back up to the reception, I noticed that Amy and Rory were just chatting to each other, happy, in love, which I obviously needed to capture – especially when the sun is setting behind them over such a glorious landscape.
This usher (and brother of the groom) was delivering a hand penned poem during the service. He was, quite understandably, a little nervous. I caught this moment as he was reading through and preparing moments before the bride arrived.
Like I said, prep is always a fun time, this was Rosie explaining to one of her bridesmaids where the teabags were. To be fair, they were in a very hidden corner cupboard – right in front of the bridesmaid’s face. Much to Rosie’s amusement.
Mother of the bride, mother of the groom, coming together to film the first dance. I think it really shows how two families come together at a wedding. Plus, mums are always good for a cry.
I usually tell my couples not to look at me, just ignore me. But the emotion from Charlotte after her and Jon were married is clear to see here. They’d literally just walked out of the ceremony room and I think the emotion overcame her. It’s a real privilege to be able to capture these intimate moments as they happen.
Normanton Church, Rutland is a really stunning venue, both inside and out. Registrars always say to me that I can take a shot of the couple pretending to sign the register (it’s not permitted to photograph the actual register). Now, I’ll take the shot, but, let’s be honest; it’s a bit shit isn’t it? You’ll have a lovely picture of the moment you held a pen which doesn’t work, over a blank register, while awkwardly looking at the camera. The registrar will then usually ask people to come up and take a blurry picture of you holding a pen which doesn’t work, over a blank register, while awkwardly not knowing which camera to look at. This is where I come in, this angle almost always offers a shot of your guests and it much better.
Normanton Church is pretty unique, in that, there’s only one entrance, and you can get married either end. If you want to get married at the end with the door (the best end) then the bride wouldn’t have an aisle to walk down. To overcome this, bride’s will arrive to the church a long time before the ceremony starts and ‘hide’ in the back room, then appear as if by magic and walk down the aisle. I like to be in and around the room as the hiding is taking place. These flower girls were excited about their role in the wedding, but not as excited as Helen was!
Abbey and Simon were very much in love, you could clearly tell throughout their day, halfway through the first dance they wanted everyone else to join them. I really wanted to capture the dance floor being full, but the couple just being wrapped up in their own moment. I really love this shot.
I’m pretty chilled out about guests taking pictures at weddings, they don’t tend to be shooting what I’m shooting, and are always super respectful to not get in the way. Occasionally, the father of the groom brings an iPad though, and takes pictures all the time, on an iPad. Again, it doesn’t bother me, but I DEFINITELY will take a lot of pictures of them doing it! We had a good laugh about it though.
Another one from Abbey and Simon, as I mentioned, these guys were really loving with each other all day. I followed them out of the barn they had just got married in and as they were walking out they had a kiss. Moments like this I really love to capture, completely spontaneous and natural, but something these guys will treasure.
Sometimes, fathers of the bride feel a bit like a spare part during the morning. They generally don’t have hair and makeup to be done. Sometimes they wear a kilt, sometimes they like to have a little rest on a bench outside and contemplate – I’ll be there…
Ah, remember the summer of 2019? There was a week or so when everyone was crazy about that app which makes you look old. This was then, this was a reaction of said app. Just a happy, spontaneous moment I liked.
Definitely one of my favourite shots from the year – a Christening/secret wedding provided so many moments for me to capture. The vicar was preparing for the dunking (pretty sure that’s not what it’s called, but you get the gist), the godparents were looking on, Grace and Ed were wrapped up in each other and their beautiful baby boy – all the while everyone was still reeling from the news that the wedding was even taking place.
Same wedding as above; this was the moment when Grace entered the church. Now, that’s always a happy occasion, people seeing the bride for the first time etc. This was something else though. The congregation had been told roughly 1 minute before this moment that there was going to be a wedding. The penny didn’t drop instantly, some people weren’t quite sure they heard in fact, but when Grace (and her super proud father) walked in the reaction was phenomenal. Also, Ed got to see the work my talented wife had done with the hair and makeup. This was one of the weddings which will really stay with me. Not only because the food was sublime, but for many other reasons. Ok, maybe the food was a part of it. Yeah, it was mainly the food to be honest.
I love it when a couple do their own thing at a wedding; so, when Leanne said she was doing a speech, I knew it would be cool, then, she told me the speech was entitled “a few reasons why Dochers (the groom) is a knobhead” – I knew it would be epic. And it was, she ripped him a new one. There was plenty of ammunition, so Dochers only has himself to blame really… This was his reaction pretty much throughout the speech. Loved it.
When your daughter and your nephew are an usher and a flower girl they occasionally need to catch up and shoot the breeze at some point in the day, to discuss tactics and responsibilities, these guys were great fun all day and I loved capturing this natural moment between them.
Definitely one of my favourite shots of the year; partly because I picked up a Photographers Keeping it Real award for it, and partly because I can’t help but smile when I look at it. Grandparents are awesome, I myself have some amazing grandmas, and was incredibly close to my Grandpa, so I always try to capture them as much as possible at a wedding. When they’ve had a couple of brandys it’s even better, when they’ve had a couple of brandys, and found access to the photobooth props then it’s amazing. not sure Maureen agreed*
*she’s possibly not called Maureen.
I’m used to brides being fashionably late to the ceremony, this was the mother and aunt of the bride though… to be fair, they had been rushing around getting lots of things ready, so I’ll forgive them. Hopefully Sheree will also…
As I mentioned, grandparents are special to me, and should be treasured. If you have a grandparent, go and message them right now, honestly, it will make their day. Done that? Good. These grandparents and grandchildren were having a good old chat for quite a while, I loved how natural they were with each other, and clearly spend time together. I’m very lucky that I can get memories such as this for people to look at forever.
Also, I know you didn’t message your grandparents – shame on you!
Sally and David celebrated their wedding in the beautiful setting of The George, Stamford. I was introduced to what a ‘sabrage’ was (opening a Champagne bottle with a special sword) – this was the moment when’ take 1′ happened, a bit of a misfire, the wrong sort of bottle, but still, a lovely reaction.
Same wedding as above. If you’ve read about me then you’ll know I have a lot of children, consequently, I like to show the importance of children at weddings. This little girl was very cute, all day holding her dress up so it didn’t get wet, and the boy is eating an action figure. Shows the difference between girls and boys quite well.
If I’m taking a group photo (which I will do every now and again), and you try to hide, I will point it out, and get incredibly close to you to take extra pictures of you. Then, you will relax, and laugh, and I will get a good picture anyway.
Following on from the children comments, this little boy was great fun all day, I’m not sure he understands the rules of badminton, and I got a much bigger workout following him around to get this shot than I ever have playing badminton.
It’s a dangerous job my job is; errant bouquets, canapes everywhere, break-dancing best men, kids on swings. I like to get close, there’s a famous quote from Robert Capa which goes “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” – and I think this image really proves that. He was definitely trying to kick me in the face, but, to be fair, I definitely would have too.
Leah and Arturo had such a beautiful day; half the guests were from the States, half were from Spain, with a Celtic root thrown in for good measure. With that in mind, there had to be a piper (left) and a guest who wanted to try playing the instrument (right). It started off pretty well, but then descended into the guest working out that it’s really hard to play the bagpipes!
Not a lot of explanation needed here; father of the bride leading a hymn. Beautiful venue (Exton Chapel), beautiful light, a proud father. Perfect.
Kids are cute, but they’re sometimes also a bit daft. Also, they get bored easily, especially during marriage ceremonies. This little guy was making the cutest expressions and I loved how it contrasts with the seriousness of what’s going on around him.
Amongst the (often) chaotic scenes of prep, there’s usually a pocket of calm. The mother of the bride was taking advantage of an empty room to have her make-up completed, I love me a bit of window light, which is kind of ironic as the majority of this image has no light. But still, I loved the simplicity of this frame, just a calm moment shot in a timeless way.
This was from my last wedding of 2019, I actually shot the lady in the foreground of this image’s wedding a couple of years ago, and the baby she’s holding when he was born, she was a guest at this wedding (referrals are always appreciated) – baby G wasn’t too happy (see above re. boredom at weddings) so this little one decided to jump around to make him laugh, which worked!